Senator Tedisco & Senator Rhoads: “Everything Everywhere All at Once, Except a NYS Budget”

With a short-term state budget extender to keep state government operating in place through Monday, April 10th, and passage of another budget extender likely in lieu of an elusive deal on a complete state budget, Senator Jim Tedisco and Senator Steve Rhoads today are calling on the Governor, Senate Majority Leader, and Assembly Speaker to be fully transparent with the public, media and lawmakers and release their budget extender bill text by 11:59 p.m., Friday April 7th.   


This would avoid the Governor having to issue a message of necessity and enable lawmakers, the public and media the constitutionally required three days to review budget extender legislation. In the past, governors have tucked new policy changes into budget extenders and forced legislators to either accept the provisions or shut down state government and all the havoc that would create. 


Tedisco and Rhoads are sponsoring legislation, the “NYS Budget Transparency Act” (S.48/A.4723) to stop the abuse of “messages of necessity” and prevent secret government from keeping many legislators, the public and media in the dark when significant legislation is being voted on. The “NYS Budget Transparency Act” is a constitutional amendment that would stop the clock on all legislative proceedings between midnight and 8 a.m. and limit messages of necessity except in the case of genuine emergencies such as a security threat, natural disaster or dire fiscal situation. The bill requires a two-thirds majority vote to take up any message of necessity.  


Somewhere in this vast multiverse, a fully transparent, on-time, fiscally-responsible state budget which enhances public safety by giving judges reasonable discretion in the cash bail law has already been passed into law. Unfortunately for taxpayers, this universe is not one of them! It appears likely that the Governor and the Super Majorities in the Legislature who have almost absolute power in Albany and are all from one party affiliation can’t come to terms on a new state budget and will have to pass another state budget extender on Monday to keep state government open,” said Senator Jim Tedisco.   


There’s no acceptable reason why the Governor, Senator Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker should treat the legislature, public and media like mushrooms and keep them in the dark about the contents of a possible budget extender. They should adhere to the constitution and release the bill text by Friday at midnight to give everyone three days to review the legislation. A message of necessity should not be the Governor and Majority’s message of political convenience. If this budget process was a movie, it certainly wouldn’t be destined for an Academy Award nomination! said Senator Tedisco.  


In my time serving as a Nassau County Legislator, I’m proud to say I always worked across the aisle, put the residents concerns first, and never delivered a late budget for my constituents. With the original New York State budget deadline of April 1st long gone and the possibility of another budget extender looming, the Governor, Senate Majority Leader, and Assembly Speaker can’t say the same,” said Senator Steve Rhoads. They are unfairly leaving New Yorkers in the dark about the contents of a possible budget extender. I am calling on the Governor along with the Senate Majority Leader, and Assembly Speaker to release the extender bill text by Friday at midnight so we maintain transparency and adhere to the State constitution that required three days to review budget extender legislation. It seems they can’t come to a consensus on a budget that delivers greater safety, affordability, and freedoms for New York taxpayers. The three highest ranking government officials in New York - all from the same Democratic Party - couldn’t deliver an on-time budget for the millions of New Yorkers including state employees, veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, firefighters, children, educators, and more who rely on the State for assistance. This is ludicrous and unfair for the hardworking people of the Empire State. 


We need more transparency, openness, and accountability in the budget process so the public, media, and lawmakers can review the budget extender to ensure no new policy changes are implemented. We need to repeal bail reform to make our communities safe, rein in excessive government spending to combat sky-high inflation, and deliver much-needed tax relief to our residents. The New York State Budget Transparency Act I’m proud to sponsor with Senator Tedisco will bring much needed light to the legislative process and increase accountability and openness for the hardworking taxpayers of New York,” said Senator Rhoads. 

Attachment: letter from Senator Tedisco and Senator Rhoads to the Governor, Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker.

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